Philanthropy in France is rapidly evolving according to national survey


Alliance magazine


Philanthropy in France is a rapidly expanding sector according to a national survey on French foundations with more than one-third of the country’s 2,500 foundations currently in existence created after 2010.

The findings are from the fifth national survey conducted by the Fondation de France Philanthropy Observatory – a watchdog organisation created in 1997 which monitors and assesses developments in the funds and foundations sector in France. The national survey has been conducted every four years since 2001 and sent to over 5,000 organisations.

Beyond the increase in the number of organisations, there has also rapid growth in the assets of foundations between 2013 and 2017 including a 36 per cent increase in annual expenditure and 28 per cent growth in foundations’ resources.

Grant-making foundations are the emerging model in modern philanthropy. In 2013, 74 per cent of foundations were grant-making foundations. Today, they represent a total of 81 per cent of all foundations and 90 per cent of those created since 2010. These foundations, which constitute the vast majority of corporate foundations and sheltered foundations, are now responsible for one-fourth of the total expenditures of French foundations (nearly € 2.5 billion annually).

Social welfare is the number-one area of activity for French foundations (24 per cent), ahead of health (17 per cent) and arts and culture (17 per cent) and over half of French foundations act at the local level.

A summary of the survey results can be viewed here.

For more, see The state of French philanthropy by Andrew Milner from the March 2019 Issue on Systems change and philanthropy.

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